The things happening this week led me to start my post with a Dictionary definition, for those that seem to think that a dictator is only a murderer (they usually are or become one):
n : a form of government in which the ruler is an absolute
dictator (not restricted by a constitution or laws or
-Monday’s El Universal, one of Caracas’ most important daily’s had a picture of a giant truck being used by the Government’s food program with a huge picture of Chavez and below it saying “this food for the people under orders of Hugo Chavez”. Thus there is no longer difference between the party MVR and the President. Government funds are used to promote his image, reminiscent of Castro, Saddam Hussein and all the other jewels.
-The Mayor of the Sucre District of Caracas, who happens to be the son of Vice-President Jose Vicente Rangel did not allow the opposition to hold a meeting this Thursday in Petare in the East of Caracas, called the “Petarazo”. The opposition has been holding these rallies in what used to be “Chavista” areas as a way of showing the Government that it is no longer popular. The rallies are also intended give courage to Chavez’ opponents within the barrios to come out and support the opposition. The Mayor gave as an excuse for not allowing the rally the fact that it would not be safe. Interesting excuse, no? He is in charge of security, says the rally is not safe, we can’t have a rally.
-After approving the new regulations for debate and organization of the National Assembly Chavez’ MVR said they will continue to hold Assembly meetings in public locations. The next one will be in the “El Valle” area of Caracas. In this manner, the Government supporters guarantee that nobody can check whether there is a quorum or not and opposition Deputies can not attend for fear for their lives. Some democracy, no?
-The Supreme Court ruled that Intesa a joint venture between San Diego’s SAIC (60%) and PDVSA (40%) had to hand over all hardware and software to PDVSA and SAIC will receive no compensation. Interestingly enough some of the software that needs to be handed over is under license to Intesa by international software companies and can not be simply transferred.
-At the meeting of General Assembly of the OAS in Chile, representatives of the Interamerican Press Society said that “freedom of speech is disappearing in Venezuela. Like Cuba, Venezuela is on its way to having no free press”.
-At the same meeting the Venezuelan Foreign Minister accused Venezuelan media of being racist, saying that there are no TV announcers that are non-white, proving that he never watches local TV. He also said that, and I quote” We Christians are very dangerous people” giving out a long list of bad things Christians have done throughout history. His list included pointing out that Stalin, McCarthy, Mussolini and Hitler were Christian, as well as the Ku Klux Klan. He called it a very personal reflection. It certainly was. He closed by inviting OAS Secretary Cesar Gaviria to go to Venezuela and see firsthand the racism of the media as if Gaviria had not been living in Venezuela for six months since November.
-A couple of hundred buses with pro-Chavez signs on their windows showed up early Monday in front of the oil company PDVSA in Caracas. Reportedly these pro-Chavez people came to ask for jobs and accused one of the parties that support Chavez of cornering all of the new jobs within the state-owned PDVSA.
-Chavista Deputies called on the “people to come out and defend their Parliament”. Saying the opposition planned to boycott the National Assembly a number of MVR Deputies called on mobs to come out and show with their presence at the Capitol building that they support the Government. This is simply inviting mobs to intimidate the opposition Deputies. How democratic, no?
-In his Sunday address to the nation Hugo Chavez called and public powers to “act” and bring to trial those Deputies who stopped the National Assembly from working last week calling them “coupsters and conspirators”. This not only violates the separation of powers, but represents a form of intimidation. But, what else is new?